So it is official, we have decided to leave this time next year on our world trip on our bikes. We will spend the first week of June in Italy with Patrick´s family celebrating his mom´s birthday, and then we head East! We have been talking about this for awhile, (I even started a 365 project on Flickr with the express purpose of tracking my spending and working towards my German proficiency, but the world should know that what I am talented in, if nothing else, is in high expectations of myself and a wicked streak of procrastination, which don’t tend to work so well together.)
But in celebration of our planned trip, I am reposting an old Thursday 13 I did on how to save money for a big trip, it helps to be reminded. And it is not true that only the rich, the young, the childless, the insert reason why not here, can do the trip.
1. First off set a goal. Your goal helps you determine just how much you need to save, and if need to quit your job or if you can take a leave of absence, or if regular holidays cut it. Knowing what you want helps, because your going to need the motivation! If your lucky you can continue to receive your regular paycheck while your gone. (Does your work offer 2 over 3 options? Don’t know, look into it! Working 2 years at a reduced salary so you can keep getting paid year 3 can make a major difference in that planning!)
Sunrise Mt. Fuji:
2. Now that you have your goal, (and you may have found out your work will just cut you off and you will need to save for everything you want to do), it’s time to start making those really hard choices. Is that year off to bike South America or study Italian in Italy worth giving up a nice car, new clothes all the time, going to movies every weekend? Take a month and make a weekly budget (an HONEST one ) and see where your money is going, and what your willing to give up to make your dream happen.
3. For instance the library can save you a lot of money. Love books? Buy them every week? Break the habit! Same goes for Cds and movies, as the library can be a free (or near free if it has an annual fee) resource. What do you do with that extra money?
4. Put it in your travel jar! Every time I go to buy something, and I then stop myself and go to the library or a swap site instead, I put that value away in my travel jar or a special bank account I have just for my travels. Its considered money spent!
5. This money “not spent but spent” thing works. I also use that philosophy when I make plans to go to a party or a movie and the plans fall through. That was money I was going to spend, so I stick it away in my travel funds.
6. Give up a vice! I can not live without coffee. But I cut it down to one Starbucks a day, instead of two (and sometimes three). That saves me 3 Euro a day at least. That is an extra 90 Euro a month, or about 3 days travel! Cut out one type of sugar sweets or other food indulgence and then put that money straight into travel savings.
7. Figure out your travel tastes. Camping and hostels are a great way to save money instead of opting for hotels. Think of it as a place to put your head, and then look at the difference that 15 Euro hostel versus that 40 Euro Pension makes in your budget.
8. Think about the kindness of strangers. Look at staying with a member of the Hospitality Club or Couch Suffers. I fully admit to only being comfortable with this when I am with a friend as well. But plenty of single women travel and stay with people who offer them their homes for free for the night or longer. Most of these people are travelers themselves, who want to give back some of the kindness they were shown as they traveled the world. You can also read the comments previous guests have left and determine your own comfort level.
9. Even if you dont stay the night, many hospitality members are on the site to be able to show you around their city. Why pay for an expensive tour guide when you can meet a local who is only too happy to help you out and show you all those spots the regular tourists miss!
10. Be flexible. If you just HAVE to see everything at a certain time and at a certain date, you will find your trip creeps up and up in price.
11. Don’t discount how awesome bread, cheese, and tomato can be as you sit on a mountain side. Whatever you like to eat, if you shop at supermarkets you are bound to pay less than when you end up in a resturant three times a day.
12. Work while you travel! That was how I did my traveling before I met a Swabian who taught me how to save money. And of course it is still how I am doing it, only now with less added help from credit cards. Teaching English or another language can be a great way to see the world.
13. Travel and Volunteer. Many organizations will help you with accommodation and food if you work for free for them. Be wary of those places that want you to pay a fee for the right to give away your labor. Not all, but some, are also making an unfair profit off of you, and that profit is not going back to the organization you wanted to help to begin with.
Orginal post can be found here!